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Should Students Wear School Uniforms?

By KirlandoAyers1 May 08, 2013 1071 Words
Kirlando Ayers
Ms. King
English 101-400
21 April 2013
Should Students Wear School Uniforms?
The public school uniform debate has been an issue for educators, parents, and students for years now. While school uniforms are typically found in private schools, it was in 1987 that the first public uniform policy went into effect. Then in 1994, the Long Beach Unified Schools District in California adopted a mandatory uniform policy in some of its schools, making it the first urban district to do so. Though public school uniform use is not widespread it is continuously growing. The question of what students should wear to school rouses strong feelings on both sides. According to a survey that I created on seven out of ten parents and students agree with public school students having to wear uniforms. I as a parent agree with students and parents who are for uniforms in public schools for the following reasons: it helps with social leveling, bullying, and economics. Social leveling is the first reason why I agree with students wearing school uniforms. This policy makes all the children at school equal regardless of their family background or income. If students are able to choose their own clothes then the more fortunate kids compete to show off their expensive designer labels and costly sneakers. Children from families that are not as fortunate get picked on for not being able to afford lots of pricey outfits. I recently read an article about a woman name Mary Burgess who as a student wore uniforms. Mary now is an adult who has children in the school system wearing school uniform. Mary, now an administrator in the school system made the comment: The uniform sets you apart, but it also makes you equal in the sight of God. That's part of the whole thing about uniforms. It doesn't matter how much people spend on their clothes. It's what's on the inside that matters. (Burgess) A second reason I agree with the wearing of uniforms in public schools is because it can reduce the amount of bullying. Kids being picked on for what they are wearing can lead to a lot of other issues such as low self-esteem and the pressure to want and have the designer things as well. The uniforms help students realize that a person’s personality traits and unique gifts go deeper than the clothing they have on. The last reason I feel so adamant about student wearing uniforms is due to economical issues. School uniforms tend to be cheaper than letting children choose what they want to wear to school. Young people feel peer pressure to dress in the latest things and not wear the same outfit often. This leads to their parents having to spend hundreds of dollars on clothes each year. With uniforms taking away this pressure, there is usually a much smaller overall cost for the parents. Families who are hard-up can often get help with the cost of uniforms in some schools but when it comes to buying regular clothes that type of assistance is not available. The average house hold spends $234.51 on jeans, shirts, and other types of clothing. They also spend $109.75 on shoes and $98.37 on school supplies according to a survey done by the (NRF) The National Retail Federation conducted in 2010. You can view the survey and this info at Buying uniforms is not as costly where you can buy solid color polo for $5-$7 and solid khaki pants for $10-$15. There are students and parents that feel different about public schools wearing uniforms. After doing the survey I conducted, 30% of the students and parents opposed uniforms for some of the same reasons I feel that students should wear them. From the research I have done reading articles, surveys, and speaking with parents and students they felt that school uniforms were not really a social leveler. Students will always find ways to tease or bully others regardless of what clothes are worn but by their hairstyles, height, or weight. They also expressed it was a form of punishing kids from being individuals and feel that uniforms violate the fundamental right of ‘Freedom of Expression’. They want free thinking and expression for children to make them thinkers of tomorrow rather than meek followers. It also lowers the scope for personality development and self discovery; in order to know your place in the world around you, you need to see how you fit in it. A school uniform (with all its uniformity) could be a hurdle in the path of niche creation and self discovery. Some of the parents really expressed how it really would not help them out economically. Uniforms can be just as expensive as buying regular clothing depending on the brand of uniform you buy and where you purchase them. Also it is not as if children will not need other clothing also for the evening, weekends, and holidays. Parents feel they would be buying two sets of clothing for their kids during the school year. That would add to whatever financial strain they might have and unnecessary cost when they could just go shop for clothing. Their children could wear the clothes year- round and for any occasion whether it is school related or not. The public school uniform debate has been an issue for educators, parents, and students for years now. I as a parent agree with students and parents who are for uniforms in public schools for the following reasons: it helps with social leveling, bullying, and economics. These three reasons to me would be very beneficial to the student’s in numerous ways and also to the parents. Long as there is a option to wear other clothing besides uniforms it will continue to be argued.

Work Cites
Cook, Stephanie. "Do school uniforms stifle expression or protect students?." Christian Science Monitor 08 Aug. 2000: 12. Newspaper Source. Web. 29 Apr. 2013. Weston, Alonzo. "School uniforms or not?." St. Joseph News-Press (MO) 12 Sept. 2010: Newspaper Source. Web. 29 Apr. 2013. Ayers, Kirlando. "Should Public Schools Wear Uniforms." 24 May 2013. May . Print. Hacker, Diana, and Nancy Sommers. A Writer's Reference. Seventh. Boston, New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 1999. Print. Paine, Charles, and Richard Sheehan-Johnson. Writing Today. Second. New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc., 2010. Print.

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